Author Archives: jrochkind

“Internet Archive Successfully Fends Off Secret FBI Order”

https://theintercept.com/2016/12/01/internet-archive-fends-off-secret-fbi-order-in-latest-victory-against-nsls/ A DECADE AGO, the FBI sent Brewster Kahle, founder of the Internet Archive, a now-infamous type of subpoena known as a National Security Letter, demanding the name, address and activity record of a registered Internet Archive user. The letter … Continue reading

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“Harvesting Government History, One Web Page at a Time”

http://www.nytimes.com/2016/12/01/nyregion/harvesting-government-history-one-web-page-at-a-time.html With the arrival of any new president, vast troves of information on government websites are at risk of vanishing within days. The fragility of digital federal records, reports and research is astounding. No law protects much of it, no … Continue reading

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Three articles on information ethics and power

Today I happened to come across three very good articles which to me all seemed to form a theme: Ethical and political considerations of information and information technology. First, Weaponized data: How the obsession with data has been hurting marginalized communities Consider contexts … Continue reading

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Rubyland: A new ruby news and blog feed aggregator

So I thought there should be a site aggregating ruby rss/atom feeds. As far as I’m aware, there hasn’t been a really maintained one for a couple years now. So in my spare time on my own, I made one, that worked … Continue reading

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flexbox is so nice there’s really no need for ‘grid’ frameworks anymore

That’s really all I got to say. I guess I should start tweeting or something.

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Resolving relative URLs to base in ruby

You ever have to resolve relative URLs in ruby?  I did. It’s not clear if the stdlib URI can do this — I think not, universally. But the awesome addressable gem can — in tested RFC 3986 way nonetheless!  Although it wasn’t … Continue reading

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Rails5 (and earlier?) ActiveRecord::Enum supports strings in db

I’ve often wanted to use ActiveRecord::Enum for the features it provides like query methods and value restrictions — but wanted to map to strings in the database, rather than integers. Whatever hypothetical performance or storage advantage you get from using integers, I’d … Continue reading

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Mythical Man-Months et al

I’ve never actually read Fred Brooks’ Mythical Man-Month, but have picked up many of it’s ideas by cultural osmosis.  I think I’m not alone, it’s a book that’s very popular by reputation, but perhaps not actually very influential in terms … Continue reading

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bittorrent for sharing enormous research datasets

academictorrents.com says: We’ve designed a distributed system for sharing enormous datasets – for researchers, by researchers. The result is a scalable, secure, and fault-tolerant repository for data, with blazing fast download speeds. There are data sets from researchers are several respected … Continue reading

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technical debt/technical weight

Bart Wronski writes a blog post about “technical weight”, a concept related to but distinct from “technical debt.”  I can associate some of what he’s talking about to some library-centered open source projects I’ve worked on. Technical debt… or technical weight? … Continue reading

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